OCZ Agility 3 SSD review
Posted by Hilbert Hagedoorn on: 05/26/2011 01:00 PM [ 0 comment(s) ]
Specifications and architecture
We stated it several times, the current SATA II controller is a bottleneck for the latest generation SSDs as literally they where hitting the upper plafond in terms of performance. We've now physically and mechanically reached that threshold. With the slow adoption rate towards SATA III, effectively the bandwidth your storage device can work in has doubled up, and believe it or not ... that's great but still not enough for the years to come as SSD performance over the coming year or two will take an even larger leap in peak performance.
We have stated it many times and explained this quite a bit, but the seek time on SSD drives are insane; nothing short of amazing, at less than 1ms -- 0.1ms as we actually can measure. The average seek time for a traditional HDD is roughly 9ms. Do the math, hey, no more moving and spinning mechanical components is the key here.
The traditional HDD is a limiting factor on the overall PC experience. Also, storage performance like this will, for example, greatly enhance load times of Photoshop, Generic applications, Office, games load times and even simple stuff like browsing the web will become a much faster experience.
But let's move onwards to the SSD itself.
Specifications and architecture
Here's where we'll look a little deeper inside the actual product. The OCZ Agility 3 is, as stated, an SSD based on MLC NAND (25nm) flash memory.
The difference though is that it uses that new SATA III interface. The end result here is that you'll get a storage unit with a massive IO performance, peaking up-to 525 MB/sec in read performance and a scorching 500 MB/sec write performance (475 MB/sec for the 60 GB model).
Now, always bare in mind that a manufacturer loves to show you the burst / maximum peak performance, not average. Regardless of that fact, which we'll show you in the benchmark sessions, this storage unit is just extremely fast.
Specifications OCZ series 3 SSDs
|Type||Vertex 3||Vertex 3 PRO||Agility 3|
|Interface||SATA III||SATA III||SATA III|
|Controller||SandForce 2281||SandForce 2582||SandForce 2281|
|SSD type||Multi Level Cell||Multi Level Cell||Multi Level Cell|
|MBTF||2 Million Hours||10 Million hours||2 Million Hours|
|Warranty||3 years carry in||3 years carry in||3 years carry in|
At first glimpse, the Agility 3 looks awfully similar to the Vertex 3 really, model seems familiar to a nearly awkward way. There subtle differences though, but sure they both come with a lower spec SandForce 2281 controller. Specs and speeds are similar though, unless you compare to the vertex 3 Pro model.
The Agility 3 series SSD will become available in three volume sizes: 60, 120 and 240 GB. The products range from 105 EUR for the 60 GB version towards, 400 EUR for this 240 GB version, OCZ covers the unit with a 3 year warranty. Some key features:
- Available in 60GB, 120GB, and 240GB Capacities
- MLC NAND Flash
- Interface: SATA 6Gbps / Backwards Compatible 3Gbps
- Native TRIM support
- Seek Time: .1ms
- Slim 2.5" Design
- 99.8 x 69.63 x 9.3mm
- Lightweight: 77g
- Operating Temp: 0°C ~ 70°C
- Ambient Temp: 0°C ~ 55°C
- Storage Temp: -45°C ~ 85°C
- Low Power Consumption: 2.7W Active, 1.5W Idle
- Shock Resistant up to 1500G
- RAID Support
- Compatible with Windows 7, Vista, XP 32-bit/64-bit, Mac OSX, Linux
- MTBF: 2 million hours
- 3-Year Warranty
- 60GB: AGT3-25SAT3-60G
- 120GB: AGT3-25SAT3-120G
- 240GB: AGT3-25SAT3-240G
To understand the product we'll need to realize that there are primary technologies embedded into the storage unit. As such we'll continue the technology coverage in two stages:
- The SSD partitions paired with controller
- SATA III 6 Gbit interface
We'll explain each one in a simple manner.
OCZ is about to inject an SSD into the market that is labeled Agility 3 SSD. What's the difference in-between Agility 2 and now 3 you might ask ? Well, two primary things really, controller and NAND flash memory type. Labeled with advertised speeds of of 525 MB/sec with write speeds of 500 MB/sec this product should be really interesting for many of you.
OCZ Agility EX SSD 60GB review
Today we test the OCZ Agility EX SSD. If 100% reliability is your thing then this is the cheapest SLC based SSD with an Indilinx controller that you can think of. The OCZ Agility EX offers top notch performance and reliability, we honestly believe in the theory that the SSD could probably outlive you.
OCZ Agility SSD 120GB review
The OCZ Agility series SSD is an accumulation of all the latest breakthroughs in SSD technology, including controller design, spiffy read/write speeds, and 64MB of onboard cache, yet with this series, at a somewhat better price. See, by doing so OCZ shaves another 20 to 25% off the sales price.